101 Biggest Hits of 2016! #101-91

The Hot 100 chart released by Billboard this morning was dated December 31, so that means another year of chart research has come to a conclusion! If you are new this year to my Hot 100 chart rankings, here’s a quick primer on my project.

To rank each year’s most popular songs objectively without any genre bias or favoritism towards the earlier months of the year, I devised a point system back in 2011 which grades and orders songs as fairly as possible. This is a basic rundown of how it all works:

  • Every week, Billboard releases the Hot 100, cataloging the most popular songs based on airplay, digital sales, YouTube presence, and online streaming.
  • When the new chart comes out every Tuesday, I analyze the chart and update my running totals for each song that has charted in 2016.
  • A week at #1 on the chart gains a song 100 points, a week at #2 gets 99 points, and so on down to 1 point for a week at #100.

2016 brought extreme parity to the Hot 100, and a bunched-up crowd at the top brought several changes to the year-end rankings in the year’s final weeks. To put things in perspective, 2013’s winner “Radioactive” held a 1,037 point lead over the second-place finisher. This year, 16 songs finished inside that margin of victory. The big takeaway? Points were at a premium this year, and the winning total is the lowest in nearly 10 years according to my research.

Today I will reveal songs 101-91, with another 10 songs being unveiled each day. Before we get started though, here are some of the songs you won’t be seeing in this countdown. First, here are the songs which reached the Top 10 in 2016, but were unable to accrue enough points to secure a spot:

  • Don’t Wanna Know by Maroon 5 f/Kendrick Lamar (866 points, #106)
  • Summer Sixteen by Drake (836 points, #108)
  • Fake Love by Drake (698 points, #132)
  • Bad Things by MGK & Camila Cabello (439 points, #181)
  • Piece By Piece by Kelly Clarkson (406 points, #189)
  • Formation by Beyoncé (323 points, #218)
  • I Don’t Wanna Live Forever by Zayn & Taylor Swift (95 points, #327)
  • Deja Vu by J. Cole (94 points, #328)

There is a bit of difference between the way Billboard itself tabulates its Top 100 songs of the year and the calculations I make. For this second list, here’s a quick look at the songs Billboard included in its list that didn’t make my countdown. Each song’s placement on my own year-end rankings will show up in parentheses.

  • #79: Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift (#118)
  • #81: On My Mind by Ellie Goulding (#121)
  • #85: Lean On by Major Lazer & DJ Snake f/MØ (#119)
  • #86: I Know What You Did Last Summer by Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello (#102)
  • #88: Watch Me by Silento (#146)
  • #95: Adventure Of A Lifetime by Coldplay (#110)
  • #97: Wicked by Future (#103)
  • #99: See You Again by Wiz Khalifa f/Charlie Puth (#127)
  • #100: Perfect by One Direction (#149)

Without further ado, let’s begin the countdown with #101!

#101: Antidote by Travis Scott
Peak: #16            2016 Weeks on Chart: 12         Points: 902
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 75

Getting us started this year is Travis Scott, who I first learned of when he was arrested for inciting panic at 2015’s Lollapalooza. He’s recovered nicely since then, scoring his first career Top 40 hit with the enigmatic “Antidote.” A slew of feature credits has ensued, and his current single “Pick Up The Phone” with Young Thug is finishing up a more than satisfactory followup run.

#100: Really Really by Kevin Gates
Peak: #46     2016 Weeks on Chart: 26         Points: 923
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 92

Kevin Gates had put out no fewer than 13 mixtapes prior to his breakout in 2016 with debut album Islah. Lead single “2 Phones” will be seen later in the countdown, but “Really Really” was a noteworthy chart achievement in its own right. Showing remarkable longevity despite a middling peak of 46, it became the lowest-peaking song to ever reach my year-end Top 100.

#99: All In My Head (Flex) by Fifth Harmony f/Fetty Wap
Peak: #24      2016 Weeks on Chart: 18         Points: 936
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 93

“All In My Head” served as a followup effort for both the girls from Fifth Harmony (fresh off their massive success with “Worth It” and “Work From Home”) and Fetty Wap (2015’s breakout artist with four appearances in last year’s countdown). Unfortunately for both parties, this tropical song started fast but was unable to gain sturdy footing, failing to reach the 20-week threshold closely associated with a lasting chart hit.

#98: Can’t Feel My Face by The Weeknd
Peak: #15 (#1 in 2015)     2016 Weeks on Chart: 14         Points: 948
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 72

Finishing in the year-end Top 20 last year, “Can’t Feel My Face” continued its mighty chart run well into 2016. In joining the elite fraternity of two-time countdown appearances, along with concurrent hit “The Hills,” The Weeknd’s smash effectively bridged the gap between Beauty Behind The Madness and Starboy.

#97: 24K Magic by Bruno Mars
Peak: #4            2016 Weeks on Chart: 10         Points: 957
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

The lead single from the album of the same name, Bruno Mars’ solo return to the charts was extremely efficient with its paucity of 2016 chart weeks. In fact, “24K Magic” became the first song to reach my year-end Top 100 with just 10 weeks logged since Pink’s #1 smash “Raise Your Glass” did the same in 2010. Currently stalling at its peak of #4, “Magic” is at risk of becoming the first Bruno Mars lead album single to fail to reach #1 on the charts.

#96: Cut It by O.T. Genasis f/Young Dolph
Peak: #35            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 959
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 91

Last year in my analysis of “CoCo,” I wrote that O.T. Genasis was destined to become a one-hit wonder. It seemed a safe bet at the time, but he went and proved me wrong in a big way with “Cut It.” Featuring an enormously catchy piano riff and another swath of double meanings, O.T. scored his second Top 40 hit in as many tries. We’ll have to see if he can make it a three-peat in 2017.

#95: Humble And Kind by Tim McGraw
Peak: #30            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 962
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 96

Arguably the most successful and consistent crossover county artist in Hot 100 history, Tim McGraw extended his remarkable chart record in 2016 with the critically-acclaimed “Humble And Kind.” Since first hitting the charts with “Indian Outlaw” in 1994, McGraw has logged 14 entries in my yearly Top 100, a highly impressive feat for someone in the country genre.

#94: All The Way Up by Fat Joe, Remy Ma & Jay Z f/French Montana & Infared
Peak: #27            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 978
Billboard Year-End Ranking: 87

It’s been twelve long years since Fat Joe and Remy Ma graced this countdown. As co-members of Terror Squad, their #1 hit “Lean Back” was one of the biggest hits of 2004. Fat Joe had a slew of hits before 2004, most notably the Ashanti-featuring “What’s Luv?,” but hadn’t had a Top 40 hit since 2008. That all changed with “All The Way Up,” one of the most irresistible hip-hop tracks of the year. In any other year, this would have been the most unlikely comeback song, but there are amazingly several more contenders scattered throughout this countdown.

#93: Juju On Dat Beat (TZ Anthem) by Zay Hilfigerrr & Zayion McCall
Peak: #5            2016 Weeks on Chart: 12         Points: 984
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

Much like gunslingers in the Old West, there typically isn’t room for two viral hits on the charts at once. However, this fall proved to be a massive exception, as “Juju On Dat Beat” held court simultaneously with the Mannequin Challenge-fed “Black Beatles.” Ultimately, this debut single for Zay and Zayion fell just shy of the pace set by Rae Sremmurd, but a #5 peak and an extended stay in the Top 10 is a more than enjoyable fate.

#92: Caroline by Aminé
Peak: #12            2016 Weeks on Chart: 15         Points: 988
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

One of 2016’s dozens of newcomers (more research on that forthcoming), Aminé struck gold with his debut single inspired partially by the lyrical target of Outkast’s 2004 hit “Roses.” “Caroline” is one of many examples of a changing tide in Hot 100 metrics, as songs driven by going viral on streaming providers like Spotify are starting to excel without mainstream radio exposure.

#91: Setting The World On Fire by Kenny Chesney f/Pink
Peak: #29            2016 Weeks on Chart: 20         Points: 989
Billboard Year-End Ranking: Not Ranked

Throughout her nearly 20-year career, Pink has paired up with a wide variety of recording artists, from Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim and Mya on 2001’s “Lady Marmalade” to Fun frontman Nate Ruess on 2013’s “Just Give Me A Reason.” As she continues the adult contemporary radio phase of her career, she lent a hand to country superstar Kenny Chesney on “Setting The World On Fire.” The end result was probably the most centrist single to date for either artist. While this gave it a lasting home on adult radio stations, it prevented a prolonged run on either the country or pop charts.

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That’s all for today! The song will keep getting bigger and bigger as the subsequent parts of the countdown come around, so be sure to keep checking in over the next week or so. A big thanks to everyone for joining me for songs 101-91 of the 101 Biggest Hits of 2016, and I’ll see you here tomorrow for songs 90-81!

Until then,

Ryan

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